Up until now, I've really just blogged about my own life and things what I believe must be affecting others as well, and also sometimes just to get things off my chest.
But last night I watched a movie. A really thought provoking movie. The movie didn't tell me anything that I didn't already consciously or even subconsciously know. The film reminded me to stop thinking about its content and actually do something. While doing that something would essentially be for me, it has to have a benefit for those around me and my future generations, otherwise all else is useless.
The movie is called Owned and Operated and was made by www.crackinfilms.com and is available on www.truththeory.org free. It also is made and distributed under the creative commons licence so it can be copied and shared freely.
The single thought that I cannot shake off is the question why more of us are not doing something? About what, you may ask? Watch the movie, I say. Then you'll understand. And yet I've worked something out about the impact of the capitalistic, technocratic, bureaucratic, financially controlling world we live in. We have been led into this stupour that leaves us believing that there will always be someone else to do something, so we don't have to.
Often this is perceived to be the case because we have had our self esteem and confidence so violently abused that we actually believe that we cant do anything and that we have to leave it to some inspired leader or some other more capable group or organisation.
But I was struck by something. It takes one small change to alter the course of human history, only one.
The reason we are so angry and helpless is because we have handed power to abusive and greedy politicians who not only refuse to hand it back, but are using that power to prevent us from taking it back. Well we can. How you may ask?
When a bunch of bullies come along and cause a problem on the playground, usually you'll find the kids affected will often walk away and start to play a new game somewhere else. A different game, by different rules.
Our current economy depends on us squeezing every last penny and cent to pay for products bought from the large corporations who make billions and leave the average guy on the street done over. But we only need to do one conscious thing to change this.
I frequently get a message on Facebook that says don't buy fuel from this or that company for one day, if everyone agrees then we can cripple them in x or y way. Thing is, these kinds of things could work, but we need to not buy fuel from them for weeks. The same goes for the addictive junk food that is laced with chemicals and additives. If everyone stopped buying McDonald s for a day, it would be a glitch to them. but if if no one bought a McDonald's for two months..... well that would be different.
So how does a person who cant even afford to buy a McDonald's who has been so shafted by the system make a difference. Here's a start.
Buy, beg or borrow a tomato. Yes a tomato. In fact, get together with a friend and obtain a tomato. At worst, go dig in the bins of a greengrocer at the end of the day and find a discarded tomato.
I'm sure by now you're probably thinking, I've lost the plot, but please bear with me. I would prefer that to learn the lesson I'm trying to illustrate that you obtain the tomato free, either through the goodwill of a friend or relative or even the goodwill of a greengrocer and it would be great if you can share this idea with a friend.
Once you have obtained your tomato, cut it open and remove the seeds. If still edible, use the flesh in a sandwich salad or to cook. clean the seeds in a kitchen sieve and plant them. All of them. If more than one of you is sharing the idea, then split the seeds and each person plant them in a tub.
Do not buy a plant pot. Recycle. use an empty yoghurt pot or the base of a plastic bottle. keep the plant inside and grow it on a window sill. You can repot as the plant grows. Then watch your tomato plants grow. Water them regularly, surf the web, for hints on keeping them healthy (I give my tomatoes left over tea from my tea pot), Just watch.
You will in a relatively short period of time have multiple tomato plants providing you with plenty of fruit not only to eat but also to continue propagating your tomatoes so that never again will you have to pay for a tomato. It takes a few minutes to cut, clean and plant , and thirty seconds every few days to water.
Then convert what you pay for a single tomato and calculate the effort that you've had to put in to growing your own and it becomes mind boggling how much over the odds you are paying for a single tomato at the supermarket.
Remembering that you initial investment in obtaining the tomato may not even have cost you anything. Even if you live in a high rise apartment you can grow your own tomatoes. In fact I know someone who lives in a tiny flat and grows their own herbs, tomatoes, potatoes (yes potatoes) and several other food sources.
Someone who thinks they can do do nothing can do something, with (in the economic sense) nothing.
If we start providing for ourselves and remove the dependence on the large corporations for our food, wellbeing and money, we remove the power we have given them and the government that runs and ruins our lives.
They can no longer say do this or that or we'll take away your livelihood, if they don't control it.
Just think if we stopped using money as exchange for food, clothing and shelter, where would that leave the banks, the politicians and the war mongers.
To effect change, we need to change the rules. The rules must suit the people, not the power.
These are my rules to effect change:
1.) reduce your dependency on direct financial exchange
2.) increase your access to self sufficiency. (grow your own)
3.) Share your resources
4.) exchange resources without using the financial system (swap your tomatoes for your some of your neighbours potatoes)
5.) Reduce, reuse and recycle, have a look at this blog to see how economically empowering it can be.
If everyone grew their own tomatoes, the tomato farming industry would collapse and I have no intention of hurting farmers, most of whom are actually manipulated by the political powers and supermarkets and get very little for their produce. But in the even this happened, the farmers would discover that actually there are ways to distribute directly to the consumer and cut out the massive food control and profiteering by the "middle men".
Now apply this to herbs, potatoes and other foods. (We can even produce milk, but I'll go into that another time)
The tomato exercise is one to show that not only can you take control of your food source but you can propagate it to maintain control. If we can do it with basic foods, we can also do it with clothing and other consumer goods.
To do this successfully we need to do only one thing. STOP buying into the mass media hype, that we have to have a better car, a nicer TV, computer, clothes with a particular brand etc....
We could ALL have nice clothes, good food, a warm home, if we stop working in the system that has deprived us of security.
Just as we have been gradually lulled into the system that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, we can gradually work our way out of dependency of that system, and that starts today, with one tomato. Even if you can afford to buy 100 tomatoes.Try it.